Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Iron deficiency and human hypoxia physiology
Author: Frise, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 7869
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with a very common disorder of iron homeostasis: iron deficiency. The specific focus is the manner in which iron deficiency influences physiological responses to hypoxia in humans. This work is predicated on observations made over many decades in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that variations in the bioavailability of iron have important consequences for certain biological processes known to depend on oxygen availability. Three separate but related studies together form the basis for this thesis. The first two, Study A and Study B, adopt a similar approach in recruiting healthy volunteers who differ according to iron status, yielding iron-deficient and iron-replete groups in both cases. In Study A, the behaviour of the pulmonary circulation is investigated during a sustained hypoxic exposure, before and after an intravenous infusion of iron. In Study B, skeletal muscle metabolism is explored, both at the level of high-energy phosphate metabolism and the integrated physiological responses to exercise on a cycle ergometer. In the third study, Study C, a different approach is taken, recruiting patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and exploring the prevalence and associations of iron deficiency in this condition. Chapters 2 and 3 describe experiments using sustained hypoxia in a normobaric chamber, during which the pulmonary circulation is assessed non-invasively using Doppler echocardiography. These reveal augmented hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) in iron-deficient individuals, who also exhibit greater sensitivity to the effects of an infusion of intravenous iron. Additionally, the way in which certain circulating mediators important for iron haemostasis change over the course of these hypoxic exposures, and how iron status influences these responses, is explored. Chapter 4 reports the findings of experiments using 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy and cardiopulmonary exercise testing, which demonstrate abnormal whole-body metabolism in iron-deficient individuals during large muscle-mass exercise, despite the absence of a clear defect in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Intravenous iron is found to have significant effects to alter the lactate threshold in healthy individuals, but the effects are more striking in iron-deficient individuals. Collectively, these experiments imply that iron deficiency promotes a more glycolytic phenotype. Chapter 5 explores iron deficiency in COPD, a condition in which pulmonary vascular disease, hypoxia and skeletal muscle dysfunction coexist, and examines some of the difficulties in assessing iron status in the setting of a chronic inflammatory disorder. Iron deficiency is found to be common, and unexpectedly associated with significantly more severe hypoxaemia, in patients with COPD. Possible reasons for these findings, and their clinical implications, are considered. Chapter 6 provides a summary of the main conclusions to be drawn from the studies presented in this thesis.
Supervisor: Robbins, Peter Sponsor: British Heart Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Energy metabolism ; Respiration ; Human physiology ; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ; Skeletal muscle metabolism ; Hypoxia-inducible factor ; Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction ; Iron deficiency